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Asso­ciate Pro­fessor of English Dwight Lindley with his sons.
Courtesy| Dwight Lindley

What is one thing on your bucket list? I want to go visit the cathe­drals of Frances like Chartres. That’s one of the reasons I’m working on the French lan­guage right now.  What is one memory from your college years that stands out to you? There is the time my best friends and I had a milk-drinking contest. We all bought a gallon of milk and drank as much as pos­sible. My two friends both vomited dra­mat­i­cally off the back porch of our house on West Street. I have a picture of one of my friends throwing up a single column of milk from his mouth down to the ground three feet below him off the back porch. It’s an amazing pho­to­graph.

Charlie Hutchins ’03 vom­iting a column of milk after a milk-drinking contest against Lindley and another friend. Courtesy| Dwight Lindley

Who is one author you would like to co-write a book with? Charles Dickens. What is some­thing funny that one of your kids has said to you? My son Oliver has said many sur­pris­ingly funny and bril­liant things. A few years ago, when he was about four or five years old, he was getting out of the bathtub and he put one of his feet up on the edge of the bathtub and said, “I am a mad king. I am the prince of love.” I was like, “Here’s your bath towel?” Where did this kid come from? It’s like he’s from another planet. What is one fic­tional town that you would love to tour? The first that springs to mind is Mid­dle­march from George Eliot’s novel. It’s a town where the modern world is coming into exis­tence and it’s caught in fas­ci­nating ways between the tra­di­tions of the pre-modern world and the modern world. Who is your con­fir­mation saint? Saint Philip Neri. He was a 16th century Italian saint and I chose him par­tially because he was the fun­niest saint. He evan­ge­lized people through humor and good spirit. He was a mag­netic per­son­ality and took himself both seri­ously and lightly at once. What is one movie you think everyone should watch? Recently I have been very taken with the films of Paul Thomas Anderson. He has a film called “Mag­nolia” and another one called “The Phantom Thread.” Who is your role model? I imme­di­ately think of my parents: my father for his steady work ethic and love of his work, and my mother for being a prayerful person.  What is one thing you didn’t learn until you were an adult? That the hardest times of my life are also the best times of my life. The times of greatest struggle end up becoming the deepest waters and they can be the richest sites of friendship with others and encounter with God. What is one trend from your childhood that you wish would come back? In general, in the United States, kids don’t play outside. My kids actually do play outside, but that’s just because we live in Hillsdale. What is one thing a lot of people don’t know about you? That I was not an aston­ish­ingly good high school or college student. Everybody is on a tra­jectory and some people are slower devel­opers than others. I went to a kind of bland public school and it took me until the end of college to wake up all the way and reme­diate my high school apathy. By the time I got out of college, I was on fire. When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a musician in high school. I wanted to play the electric bass in a funk band. After high school, before I came to college, I was a mis­sionary for a couple of years and for a time that is what I wanted to do for good. What are some of your favorite books to teach about? “Moby Dick,” “The Iliad,” and the “Con­fes­sions.” What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? My mother told me that if you want to know how a girl you’re dating is going to treat you, go home with her and see how she treats her father and her brothers. In dating some­times, you can put on a persona, but there’s a whole family history that is written into us and is hard to see at first. What is one way you hope to impact your stu­dents? By encour­aging them by my words and my example to love beau­tiful things and pursue wisdom through encoun­tering them. That’s what I try to make all of my classes about and that’s why I wanted to become a pro­fessor.